The Cardiovascular Lab (CVL) provides nurses the opportunity to incorporate advanced clinical skills and critical thinking in a close collaborative practice with both diagnostic and interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists. The team approach to the delivery of cardiovascular services allows the RN to participate in the patient care process from pre-procedure into intra-procedure and through the post-procedure phases. The RN functions in the roles of circulating, scrubbing and physiologic monitoring. All RNs are oriented in these roles.
RNs are required to maintain Basic Life Support for the Health Care Provider and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. The certification of Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist can be obtained and is encouraged. Procedures in the CVL include both cardiac (diagnostic cardiac catheterizations, percutaneous coronary interventions, elective cardioversions and transesophageal echocardiograms) and peripheral (diagnostic angiography, peripheral angioplasty/stenting, insertions of biliary/nephrostomy tubes/stents) and SIRS therapy.
The RNs in Imaging are multifunctional. Their skills include monitoring patients in cardiac stress lab/cardiac PET/CT, diagnostic procedures and MRI and CT sedations.
|Patient Population||CVL, usually adult/geriatric; Imaging – all ages|
|Unit Size||2 CVL labs (cardiac and peripheral)|
|Nurse-to-Patient Ratio||Minimum of one RN per procedure team|
|Rotation/Shifts||8-hour shifts with weekday call|
|Skill Mix||RNs and RT(R)s|
|Orientation||Individualized based on previous experience and under the direction of the cardiovascular nurse educator. RNs are assigned to a primary preceptor during the orientation process. All RNs are oriented to the roles of circulating, scrubbing and physiologic monitoring. The orientation process is ongoing until the RN is competent in all roles due to the complexity and variety of procedures. The CVL RNs are oriented to be cross-functional in imaging.|